In about nine hours from now, the Yoruba agitators and Buhari Must Go protesters will be duking it out with many other groups, including state actors like the police and the army, and non-state actors like the Yoruba Appraisal Forum.
June 12 is supposed to be the Democracy Day—in honor of the 1993 presidential election winner the late MKO Abiola.
But Ilana Omo Oodua, a Yoruba group led by Prof Banji Akintoye and his pointsman Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho have planned to turn the anniversary to a protest.
Igboho, through his Facebook handler, warned the people in the southwest to stock up against the day.
Likewise AAC presidential also-ran and publisher of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore. He claimed people from 31 cities across the world are protesting tomorrow.
But YAF is standing up to them.
The National Coordinator of the group, Adesina Animashan, in a statement in Lagos on Friday, said the South West would never allow dissidents to mar the peace and peaceful coexistence in the region.
According to him, those influencing the move for protests are enemies of state, who have been behind the many insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
“The people of South West and other civil society groups in Nigeria were at the forefront of agitations for the Federal Government to name June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, which was given by the current administration, led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigerians should not forget so soon that past administrations ignored the calls to honour the late Chief M.K.O Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 1993 annulled presidential election that later died while in incarceration.
“Therefore, it will be an abomination for the South West which holds the day sacrosanct to see disgruntled persons and hoodlums mar the day rather than celebrating it,” he said.
He urged Yoruba youths to shun such calls or protests and should rise up to the challenge by reporting any groups or groups in their domain planning to disrupt the peace in the South West via protests to security agencies closest to them.
He also urged traditional rulers in the South West to speak to their people in their domains against being part of such protests.
“We have enough challenges in Nigeria as it is. Any further action to take to the streets either on presumed peaceful protest will be counter-productive.
“Those bankrolling such moves should get their children and immediate family to embark on such protests as the South West cannot afford to lose their youths on a mundane and irresponsible protest that may likely lead to breakdown of law and order, killings and destruction of property, ” Animashaun said.
The police authorities have also said they won’t watch tomorrow degenerate into something like the October 2020 protests.
Even the National Association of Nigerian Students who was mobilizing for the protest has withdrawn, warning others to not escalate the security situation in the country.